10 of the Best Psychedelic Beatles Songs
There are many great psychedelic Beatles songs. After a hectic 1966 tour, The Beatles returned to the recording studio just in time for some of the most psychedelic years of the 1960s. The changing times were reflected heavily in their music. Suddenly The Beatles weren’t making songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” anymore.
10. ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’
Revolver‘s “Tomorrow Never Knows” was one of The Beatles’ first psychedelic songs. By then, the band had experienced LSD (Paul McCartney took it reluctantly), and it drastically changed their music and lyrics. “Tomorrow Never Knows” paints a kaleidoscopic picture, unlike anything The Beatles had painted before. Their psychedelic songs only became more refined from there.
9. ‘Fixing a Hole’
Paul claims the concept of “Fixing a Hole” is both metaphysical and physical. After taking LSD, he started seeing a little blue dot every time her closed his eyes. There was a metaphysical idea of a hole, the one he plugs whenever he writes a song, and a physical one that appears whenever he closes his eyes. Whatever inspired Paul to write the song, it’s become one of the weirdest Beatles songs. It’s like a thousand different thoughts are firing off at once.
8. ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’
John Lennon’s “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” is obviously about a carnival attraction, which is psychedelic in itself. The song paints a vivid picture, like so many Beatles songs, but it does more so with sound effects and various instruments. By the time The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper, they were delving even more into EMI Studios’ sound effects library. They were experimenting tenfold.
7. ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’
Many believed “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” was a euphemism for LSD. Although the band used the hallucinogen then, John wasn’t talking about it on the tune. His son Julian came home with a picture he drew of one of his friends at school. He called it “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.” So, John formed a song around it.
6. ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
Magical Mystery Tour wasn’t The Beatles’ best album, and neither is its titular track. However, it has a psychedelic aspect, especially with John’s vocals. You can’t be more psychedelic than taking a magical mystery tour. The film was just as strange and out there.
5. ‘Blue Jay Way’
George Harrison’s “Blue Jay Way” is almost dark and definitely dreary. Like many of George’s songs, “Blue Jay Way” combines Western and Eastern sounds. There’s an eerie organ, and Indian music influenced the cello parts. George did many experimental things to the song to make it as psychedelic as possible. The spookiest part of it is the reversed tapes in between the verses.
4. ‘I Am the Walrus’
None of the lyrics in “I Am the Walrus” make much sense, but it’s extremely psychedelic. The first verse says it all: “I am he as you are he as you are me/ And we are all together/ See how they run like pigs from a gun/ See how they fly/ I’m crying.” Apparently, The Beatles’ producer, George Martin, didn’t like the song or understand it.
3. ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’
This is another psychedelic Beatles song that utilizes an organ differently. All of the sounds in “Strawberry Fields Forever” are strange and abnormal. It’s all very kaleidoscopic, especially at the end of the tune, where there is a flurry of sounds and instruments. The music video is even more interesting.
2. ‘Glass Onion’
Into The White Album, The Beatles mellowed with psychedelic songs. However, “Glass Onion” still has some psychedelic vibes. In the lyrics, John calls out “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am the Walrus.” Other lines include: “Looking through the bent back tulips/ To see how the other half lives/ Looking through a glass onion.”
1. ‘Across the Universe’
John’s “Across the Universe” doesn’t have any psychedelic sounds and isn’t heavily experimental. However, like most of the songs on this list, it paints a multi-colored picture, even if none of the lyrics make complete sense. The tune has some of John’s most beautiful lyrics: “Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup/ They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.”
The Beatles paved the way for all things psychedelic in the 1960s, not just music. Their experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs only advanced their wacky experiments in the recording studio. It pushed the envelope and inspired many of their fellow groups and musicians.